Saturday, November 29, 2014

Old Kingdom Family Statues

Figure 1 - Husband and Wife Statue from the Old Kingdom
     The examples of family statues that I have shown so far all date to the New Kingdom. This type of statue goes far back in time however, with many examples dating to the Old Kingdom on display in museums around the world. Some, like this one (a representation of Sabu and his wife Meritites), also show one or more of the children of the husband and wife.

     In Ancient Egypt, children were often represented as having a finger of one of their hands held to their lips and a long lock of hair represented on one side of their head (with the rest of the head being completely shaven). This cannot be seen here since the representation of the child (between the parents legs in Figure 2) has been broken away.

Figure 2 - feet of the couples child shown between the adults legs
     This statue has one interesting difference from other statues of this type. Notice the space between the couple is carved out and a gap exists between the adults. In almost all (if not all) of the statues I have seen of this type, the area between the adults would be an area of "blank" stone and would not have been carved out like this.

     Notice also the much simpler clothing worn in the Old Kingdom. Meritites wears a simple sheath dress and the "transparent" garment shown on the husband's shoulders in the New Kingdom is nowhere to be seen here. The kilt he wears here is also of a much simpler style than it would become later in Egyptian history.

Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

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